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Pioneer Public TV gets $1.95M

Tribune file photo / Diane and Ron Fagen announced their plans to build a new studio and headquarters for Pioneer Public Television in Granite Falls as a gift in June, 2016.

GRANITE FALLS — Pioneer Public Television will be able to begin a year-long move into its new studio and headquarters in Granite Falls.

The public broadcasting station reported that the bonding bill approved Friday by the Legislature and also signed by Gov. Dayton includes $1.95 million for the equipment needed for the new building in Granite Falls.

"All of us at Pioneer greatly appreciate receiving legislative support for equipment at our new facility in Granite Falls," said Pioneer General Manager Les Heen in a news release. The funds will allow the station to purchase permanent studio lighting, relay towers, and other critical infrastructure to start broadcasting from the new building.

Pioneer expects a year-long transition process to move into the new building.

One of the most time-consuming parts of that process will be to building microwave relay towers to connect the new building to Pioneer's existing regional transmission tower near Appleton where it feeds Pioneer's regional broadcast network across southwest and western Minnesota to towers near Worthington and Fergus Falls. Another major component will be equip a new 24/7 master control center in the new building.

The new headquarters and studio were built as a gift for Pioneer by Ron and Diane Fagen of Fagen Engineering Inc., of Granite Falls.

"We have been very fortunate to have the generous gift of Ron and Diane Fagen to provide the building, legislative support for the equipment, and our members to keep our great programs going," said Pat Kubly, chairwoman of the Pioneer board, in the news release.

Funding for the Pioneer equipment had originally been included in the bonding bill that failed at the end of the last legislative session.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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